Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Reality TV to the rescue?

Elections. Dance of Democracy. A nation gets ready to vote its next set of rulers. But can we take democracy to the next level? Can we marry democracy to the virtues of capitalism? I will wait for you to get back onto your chair.

How about having a reality show which allows the nation to vote for one Lok Sabha seat from each state (For starters!)? And no this won’t be a song and dance routine though I know many of you would have liked it. We could have an elite panel of judges comprising of former presidents, prime ministers, law makers, leaders, academics and intellectuals choosing the best of candidates applying from a state.

Channels would be asked to bid for hosting the entire show and in return get broadcast rights and advertising revenues. It could even be called “Dance of Democracy” or “Indian Neta” … nah too corny. I would like it to be hosted by Arun Jaitley or Kapil Sibal (unless they are contestants too!). This could even help recover some of the gargantuan expenses we have every time we have an election.

The process could be rigorous. Contestants would have to present their views on Development, Infrastructure, Economy, Human Rights and Security in the ‘Speech-contest’ section. There could be debates on rural upliftment, fiscal deficit, exports … Boy there could be a lot. Leaders would have to tell the nation how they want to take their state and nation forward. Negative marks will be given for “Promises”!

Voting could be on the basis of judges’ marks and SMSes in true reality TV fashion. To vote for Mr. G K Knowledge please send a sms ‘VOTE 3645’ to 123321. We could even throw in a couple of Judge-tantrums and glycerin-tears to jack up the TRPs. A TV show like this would pull viewership from the neighboring planets!

But apart from the TV bosses building Scrooge McDuck vaults, it would probably be a true democratic election with the entire state choosing their favorite candidate from amongst the millions. Much better than the current process where you get to choose between Mr. Jailed Swamy and Mr. Mafia Sarkar.

Think about it. Maybe 50 years down the line this is how elections will be fought. Am I a visionary or what?

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